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Tusker was a planned animated feature from DreamWorks and Pacific Data Images (PDI). It was to be directed by Tim Johnson and Brad Lewis, the respected co-director and producer of Antz, and was to be the company's third CGI film after the latter and Shrek.

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Plot[]

Tusker would have followed a herd of elephants as they set out on a Great Escape-inspired impossible mission, making a trek across Southeast Asia while encountering poachers and other dangers. The protagonist would have been a young elephant whose journey of discovery, heroism and redemption intersected with and renewed the life of a reclusive old elephant who had always been an outsider.[1]

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Cast[]

  • Morgan Freeman as Tusker, the herd leader
  • Jodie Foster as Tarra, a young female elephant
  • Don Knotts as an unnamed elephant
  • Dana Carvey as an unknown character
  • Garry Shandling as an unknown character
  • Bruno Kirby as an unknown character

Devolpoment[]

Tusker was announced in December 1998, with Katzenberg describing the movie as an action-comedy: "It is very much an homage to the classic World War II films such as The Dirty Dozen or The Guns of Navarone, in which a band of screw-ups have to go on an impossible mission in order to save the rest of the herd.[2]" In March 1999, animators and the directors spent time at an elephant preserve in Nashville, TN, to study the physical mannerisms as well as the personalities of elephants. A year later, in May 2000, Jeffrey Katzenberg travelled to Asia for work related to this project. Jodie Foster and Morgan Freeman's involvement in Tusker was made official in late March 2000.

Why It Was Cancelled[]

  1. DreamWorks decided to put it aside to make way for Shrek 2 and Madagascar.
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Result[]

In August 2008, it was reported that DreamWorks Animation's former co-head of production Cecil Kramer, who shepherded Tusker at the studio for six years, brought the project to Hong Kong and Los Angeles-based animation company Imagi Animation Studios. Brooke Breton was to produce this new version of the film from a screenplay by Ted Tally. An early 2011 release was scheduled that same month[3]. However, following the box office failure of Imagi's Astro Boy, Tusker was again cancelled February 5, 2010 as the animation studio shut down[4].

  1. Imagi Picks Up DreamWorks' Tusker
  2. Amidi, Amid. PDI and Dreamworks announce their third film, "Tusker". Animation World Network. Retrieved on May 10, 2020.
  3. Imagi Picks Up DreamWorks' Tusker
  4. Goldberg, Matt (February 9, 2010). Imagi Animation Studios Shut Down; Is the Adaptation of GATCHAMAN Dead?. Collider. Retrieved on May 10, 2020.
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